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Pastor Robbed of $1 Million in Jewelry During Church Service Now Headed to Prison for Stealing from His Own Congregation

NYC Church Leader Gets 9-Year Prison Term for Fraud and Extortion
Source: TMX

Lamor Miller-Whitehead was sentenced to nine years in prison for multi-million fraud and extortion, authorities said.

Jun. 23 2024, Published 2:02 p.m. ET

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A church leader in New York City who made headlines in 2022 when he and his wife were robbed of $1 million worth of jewelry during a livestreamed service has been sentenced to nine years in prison on charges of fraud and extortion, authorities said.

Lamor Miller-Whitehead, 45, a bishop at the Leaders of Tomorrow International Ministries church in Brooklyn, was convicted in March of wire fraud, attempted wire fraud, attempted extortion, and making false statements to federal law enforcement agents, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York said in a statement recently.

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"Lamor Whitehead is a con man who stole millions of dollars in a string of financial frauds and even stole from one of his own parishioners. He lied to federal agents, and again to the Court at his trial," U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement. "Today’s sentence puts an end to Whitehead’s various schemes and reflects this Office’s commitment to bring accountability to those who abuse their positions of trust.”

Miller-Whitehead convinced a parishioner to invest $90,000 of her retirement savings, promising he would use the funds to help her buy a home, but instead spending the money on luxury goods and other personal expenses.

He also extorted a businessman for $5,000. He then sought to convince the same businessman to lend him $500,000 and give him a stake in real estate transactions in return for favorable actions from the New York City mayor, even though he "knew he could not obtain the favors he promised," prosecutors said.

Miller-Whitehead also submitted a fraudulent application for a $250,000 business loan, using doctored bank statements to indicate he had millions of dollars in the bank and monthly revenue of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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He also submitted fraudulent applications to other financial institutions, stealing millions of dollars in the process.

When FBI agents executed a search warrant at Miller-Whitehead's mansion in New Jersey, he falsely claimed he had no cell phones other than the phone he was carrying, though a second cell phone was found in the home.

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Along with nine years in prison, Miller-Whitehead was sentenced to three years of supervised release, ordered to pay $85,000 in restitution and forfeit $95,000.

TMX contributed to this report.


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